"I want to be an unforgettable soccer player who always practices diligently. I do not want to be a player who lasts on the field temporarily,” said Seo Youngjae, a Sophomore in the Department of Division of Sports & Well-Being at Hanyang University. On July 13, Seo won a silver medal after playing the final soccer match with Italy at the 2015 Gwangju Universiade, a biennially held sports event where university students aged over 17 and under 27 participate.
He has participated in numerous soccer competitions as it had been his dream to become a soccer player since he was 10 years old. He was a member of the Korean National Team at the Asian Football Confederation U-19 in 2014. Also, he was selected as one of the final 26 players in The Chance Global Finals 2012, a survival program for rising soccer players, at the age of 18. At the time, Seo gained much attention as he is a left-footed player and as he is particularly talented in the left full back position.
Although Seo is now a rising star, he had difficult time when he was a child due to his short height and weak physique. However, his physical limitations did not stop him from trying his best to achieve his dream of being a soccer player. Seo said, “When competing with other world class players at 2015 Gwangju Universiade, I was able to determine how competitive I was as a soccer player. I thought that the speed and strength of Western players were quite superior to Korean athletes’. However, I wanted to show the world that I could play as good as Western players despite my comparative physical weakness.” He took his weaknesses and turned them into positive opportunities. “Making opportunities from one’s weak points as I was able to do can provide you with a world of opportunities. Accept challenges to reach your dream and trust in yourself,” added Seo.
His final goal is to be a memorable athlete not only for being well-trained but also for his vibrant personality. He always emphasizes “steadiness” and “sincerity” during practice. In addition, he is lively by nature and a great source of encouragement for his fellow teammates. Seo said, “I admire Lee Young-pyo, the former soccer player because I think we have many things in common. I want to be a soccer player like him because he constantly strove to achieve his dreams although he is already recognized as a representative of several soccer teams."